I’ve been reading up on OpenID recently, check out my findings on Del.icio.us.
OpenID—fundamentally—is a solution to the problem of having a million user accounts all over the place. Instead of getting hundreds of user names all over the place you go to a site that provides OpenIDs and choose one username and password. These sites then give you a pretty simple web address which is probably easiest to think about as a profile page for you. Then when you want to sign into any other site on the Internet with an OpenID all you do is type in the address of this profile page. The site you’re on wanders over to that address, the other site asks you for your password, you tell it your password and then you’re bounced back to the original site where you are logged in and can get on with your business unfussed. Sometimes the local site will ask you if you want a different user name. That’s all there is to it.